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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4

    Background worries

    Hello,

    I was recently certified as an dispatcher here in California, but even after completing the POST course successfully, I am concerned about a couple things that happened in my now distant past. When I was 20, I was in a serious relationship with someone who was 17. Though it only happened maybe six times (it was quite a while ago, about eight years now), we did have sex (it was consensual, though not in the legal sense obviously!). Roughly a year later (age 21), I was with a prostitute one night. Those were the only times I ever did those things. I was never convicted of any crime and my record is clean.

    As of March, I will be 28 years old. Though I've grown up a lot since then, I recognize that this is a part of my past that I cannot erase.

    That being said, I know that these things might keep me from having a chance at this line of work. I've stayed out of trouble since then, and have done a lot of good for myself. However what I want to know is, should I even bother with applying at all with this stuff in my background?

    Thank you for any advice you have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    157
    No one can answer this, all you can do is disclose everything in your past to your background investigator, what one agency finds unacceptable might not be a big deal to another. Your job as an applicant is to disclose everything and let the investigator make that determination

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for replying, I just want to know how good are my chances (typically) of being D'Qd because of this. I understand virtually everyone has skeletons in their closet, but I'm feeling this might be bad enough to have me out of the running, so I just want to know if I should keep trying or give up and follow another path.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    CA!
    Posts
    2,035
    As Mec26 has already replied, you really have to just go through the background process to get your definite answer... Each agency or background investigator will look at your prior issues slightly differently. Ultimately being 20 and with someone who was 17 (a minor) here in CA would be considered an unlawful intercourse with a minor. As long as it was not forcible and no other method was used (drugs, alcohol, etc) it is unlawful sexual intercourse (261.5 PC). Since you're saying there was three years or less age difference it would be a misdemeanor only. In many jurisdictions, the District Attorney's Office will not even file charges against the adult absent some other issues or circumstances...

    A 17 year old cannot consent to sexual intercourse so again no matter what she says it won't erase the fact the violations occurred. A background investigator might want to speak with the girl you were with to ensure your version of the story (girlfriend who was 17 at the time when you were 20, consensual, etc) is true. I have seen instances where the person says "I was 19 and she was 17", only to later learn the girl was actually "15" and the person telling the story was actually "21". So overall they can't just take you at your word in most cases and need to verify what you're saying.

    The prostitute issues also raises a red flag. Again is it the kiss of death for all of your future law enforcement employment hopes? I would say no... Not a 100% disqualification, but again shows a lack of good judgement. Obviously you have some time between these incidents which is a good thing, however at the same time in today's job market... If you have 1 job and 10 great applicants who are all very well qualified, but one has some baggage in their background.... Why go through the trouble of clearing them for hire when the other 9 have no issues? Again no set rule, but anything negative it going to be an issue....

    Good luck!

    Kahuna
    Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    157
    To add on to your dilemma just FYI where I work in va I charged a guy with contributing to the delinquency of a minor(misdemeanor) for oing the same exact thing you did . Again disclose it to your investigator and move on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4
    As Mec26 has already replied, you really have to just go through the background process to get your definite answer... Each agency or background investigator will look at your prior issues slightly differently. Ultimately being 20 and with someone who was 17 (a minor) here in CA would be considered an unlawful intercourse with a minor. As long as it was not forcible and no other method was used (drugs, alcohol, etc) it is unlawful sexual intercourse (261.5 PC). Since you're saying there was three years or less age difference it would be a misdemeanor only. In many jurisdictions, the District Attorney's Office will not even file charges against the adult absent some other issues or circumstances...

    The age difference was three years, two months, and one week.

    A 17 year old cannot consent to sexual intercourse so again no matter what she says it won't erase the fact the violations occurred. A background investigator might want to speak with the girl you were with to ensure your version of the story (girlfriend who was 17 at the time when you were 20, consensual, etc) is true. I have seen instances where the person says "I was 19 and she was 17", only to later learn the girl was actually "15" and the person telling the story was actually "21". So overall they can't just take you at your word in most cases and need to verify what you're saying.

    There's a lot more to the story as one would imagine... Sounds like a lengthy discussion will be had. The short version: I didn't initiate anything and went along with it since she was the first girl who showed any kind of interest in me. She was my first for everything. I later found out she had an extensive history of issues (more than I knew about at the time). Most of the people in her life knew about us dating and did nothing to stop it. It remains one of the biggest regrets of my life to date...

    The prostitute issues also raises a red flag. Again is it the kiss of death for all of your future law enforcement employment hopes? I would say no... Not a 100% disqualification, but again shows a lack of good judgement. Obviously you have some time between these incidents which is a good thing, however at the same time in today's job market... If you have 1 job and 10 great applicants who are all very well qualified, but one has some baggage in their background.... Why go through the trouble of clearing them for hire when the other 9 have no issues? Again no set rule, but anything negative it going to be an issue....

    Obviously, the prostitute was not a great judgement call. I was 21 though and at the time, had no idea that I would later pursue this line of work. Not an excuse though. Like I said, these deeds were never repeated again.

    Good luck!

    Kahuna


    Thanks to you and mec26 for your input. Any others will be appreciated as well!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    CA!
    Posts
    2,035
    [QUOTE=ceolnamara555;557870]

    The age difference was three years, two months, and one week.

    That would make is a wobbler here in CA and it could be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony due to the age difference. Again I don't see a huge change in the extra two months and a week, but it would technically fit the criteria to charge the greater offense if it were to have been charged.

    There's a lot more to the story as one would imagine... Sounds like a lengthy discussion will be had. The short version: I didn't initiate anything and went along with it since she was the first girl who showed any kind of interest in me. She was my first for everything. I later found out she had an extensive history of issues (more than I knew about at the time). Most of the people in her life knew about us dating and did nothing to stop it. It remains one of the biggest regrets of my life to date...

    Not trying to be smart or to add insult to injury, but everything you posted above really makes no difference. Doesn't matter if you initiated anything. If you knew she was a minor it was all on you to stop her. No excuses. If you're an adult and a minor starts to put the moves on you, it is 100% your responsibility to stop it, they have no duty to stop it as they are the "kid" in the incident. Again it doesn't matter what her extensive issues or history was. She could be 100% crazy to the core and super aggressive sexually toward you. Unless you're claiming you were raped (again not being sarcastic here) there's no excuse... Again even if most of the people in her life knew you two were dating, but did nothing to stop it... Again it was ultimately your responsibility to not start in the first place. I understand you regret the decisions you made and you can't go back in time and change them, but you really have to be prepared to place the blame for what did happen on the right shoulders...[/I]

    Obviously, the prostitute was not a great judgement call. I was 21 though and at the time, had no idea that I would later pursue this line of work. Not an excuse though. Like I said, these deeds were never repeated again.

    Again I understand the past is the past and we've all done various things as young men/women we later regretted... Sadly your comment about not having any idea you wanted to pursue this line of work (law enforcement) is normally the biggest regret many applicants have who never get hired. Sometimes the dumb choices we make as young people have a lifetime lasting negative impact on the rest of our lives... You'll see it on these boards time and time again... An applicant will talk up their great traits... Physically fit, multiple degrees, can out shoot, out fight, out think, the best of them, but this "one mistake" is now causing them (as the world's greatest applicant) to not get the job... Again you can't change the past... You need to just hit it head on with your background investigator, be 100% honest, recognize what you did wrong, take responsibility and explain why it will never happen again!

    Kahuna
    Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4
    I'm starting to think I should move on and look for something else... I do accept responsibility for what I've done in my life, right or wrong, but I don't want to waste my time and/or anyone else's if my past will get in the way. It's looking like it will. Thanks again for your input.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    CA!
    Posts
    2,035
    My advice would be to go ahead and apply for the job(s) you want. Go through the process. Be honest at every step. If you don't get hired, don't assume it's because of the background. There might be more qualified applicants. If you can build a decent rapport with your background investigator(s) you might be able to get an honest opinion on your chances. Again I don't think anything you've shared would automatically disqualify you for the rest of your life. Bad choices sure... Kiss of death forever? I don't think so...

    Ultimately it is your call if you want to apply or not, but I would suggest go for it and find out for sure. None of the opinions anyone shares with you really matter, it's going to be the opinion of the background investigator and the person making the hiring decision that really matter!

    Kahuna
    Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by ceolnamara555 View Post
    Hello,

    I was recently certified as an dispatcher here in California, but even after completing the POST course successfully, I am concerned about a couple things that happened in my now distant past. When I was 20, I was in a serious relationship with someone who was 17. Though it only happened maybe six times (it was quite a while ago, about eight years now), we did have sex (it was consensual, though not in the legal sense obviously!). Roughly a year later (age 21), I was with a prostitute one night. Those were the only times I ever did those things. I was never convicted of any crime and my record is clean.

    As of March, I will be 28 years old. Though I've grown up a lot since then, I recognize that this is a part of my past that I cannot erase.

    That being said, I know that these things might keep me from having a chance at this line of work. I've stayed out of trouble since then, and have done a lot of good for myself. However what I want to know is, should I even bother with applying at all with this stuff in my background?

    Thank you for any advice you have.

    If you weren't convicted of anything, why would you need to put that on your application. Every appication I have filled out said to list all convictions. Unless they specifically ask you if you have ever used a protitute or slept with an underage girl, it is none of their business. Especially since it was 9 yrs ago.


 

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